Author Topic: Cloud storage of family history, too hard for the target audience?  (Read 1068 times)

Offline Craclyn

  • RootsChat Aristocrat
  • ******
  • Posts: 2,239
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Cloud storage of family history, too hard for the target audience?
« Reply #9 on: Saturday 27 April 19 18:45 BST (UK) »
Many people blank out when the cloud is mentioned. Maybe as a comprise you could build a tree on one the big sites and set up a blog to share the written information, articles, etc that you would like them to read.
Crackett, Cracket, Webb, Turner, Henderson, Murray, Carr, Stavers, Thornton, Oliver, Davis, Hall, Anderson, Bainbridge, Charlton, Chator, Corbett, Coxon, Davis, Dow, Farside, Garden, Gowans, Harmsworth, Hedley, Hunter, Ironside, Johnson, Laidler, Mason, Miller, Milne, Moreis, Nesbitt, Newton, Parkinson, Piery, Reay, Reed, Read, Reid, Robinson, Ruddiman, Smith, Tait, Thompson, Watson, Wilson, Young

RootsChat is the busiest, largest free family history forum site in the country. It is completely free to use. Register now.
Also register instantly with Facebook or Twitter (and other social networks). Start your genealogy search now.


Offline [Ray]

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 5,799
  • UK Census information Crown Copyright
    • View Profile
Re: Cloud storage of family history, too hard for the target audience?
« Reply #10 on: Saturday 27 April 19 20:46 BST (UK) »
WELCOME to Rootschat!


"Ray also mentions zoomcast.com. That appears to be a family tree application. LizzieW writes of Legacy family tree. Much of my material comes from old letters and written accounts. I have not tried to present a strict chronological account but rather put together a series of articles on themes from within the history. I do include a mostly single paternal line family tree in an appendix"
I have obviously failed . . . . .     

ZOOMPAST.com ( as originally spelled )
"appears to be family tree"  ( it is better than appears to be )
A more modern look of just the tree, trying to generate interest amongst a younger set.

The first point was to keep ( backup ) all info found, ready to be used by generations in the future, rather than make them duplicate research already carried out.Even re-writing your articles in the styles applicable to their generation.     
 
     
Your list(s) of hyperlinks are out of date immediately you publish, wherever they point.     
( try using Cyndi's List )     
You have then lost ( the link to ) your info.
 "Suppliers" shut down server farms ( economics )
"Researchers" do not renew their storage accounts ( they pass-on, various other reasons )

The idea of you creating your view of history in your articles is very good, you still need easy access to the original data for others to view/review/absorb/create their own view, in the future.   
   


R



"The wise man knows how little he knows, the foolish man does not". My Grandfather & Father.

"You canít give kindness away.  It keeps coming back". Mark Twain (?).

RootsChat is the busiest, largest free family history forum site in the country. It is completely free to use. Register now.
Also register instantly with Facebook or Twitter (and other social networks). Start your genealogy search now.


Offline [Ray]

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 5,799
  • UK Census information Crown Copyright
    • View Profile
Re: Cloud storage of family history, too hard for the target audience?
« Reply #11 on: Saturday 27 April 19 21:09 BST (UK) »
PaulMcEvoy

Addressing your comments regarding the age of researchers, their genealogical requirements, their capablilities of understanding modern IT, etc .
Certainly, there are "quite a few" Rootschatters, and elsewhere,  who are capable of creating web pages containing links to documents on their own local kit / servers.     
Rather than just clicking a URL within an email.     

AND they may have real experience  AND/OR qualifications in relevant / allied subjects/businesses, ( 50+years in some cases I can think of ).       
 


What's the word I am looking for ? . . . . . . . .     ;D



"The wise man knows how little he knows, the foolish man does not". My Grandfather & Father.

"You canít give kindness away.  It keeps coming back". Mark Twain (?).

Offline Paul McEvoy

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 6
    • View Profile
Re: Cloud storage of family history, too hard for the target audience?
« Reply #12 on: Sunday 28 April 19 10:55 BST (UK) »
I take Ray's point about WebPages disappearing. An ideal implementation of my project would be to archive pages in the supporting folder in case they disappear. The link could then use the saved version if necessary.

But not all WebPages are so transient. My mother's father and her grandfather (born 1833) both have WebPages still standing. I believe historic Wikipedia entries, of which I have a number, will last indefinitely. The amount published on the internet about a famous WWI battle in which my father participated seems to have increased rather than decreased over the years.

Saying material is "out of date immediately you publish" seems to be choosing a field which is the strength of digital methods - its flexibility. The digital version can be easily updated at any time if new information surfaces. The original version need not be lost. It can be saved both in digital and hard-copy form.

I have two millennial late-nesters at home who deal with printed or written matter only when there is no alternative. It is by members of this and later generations that the history we are writing now will be read. And future records are also more likely to be digital.

" ... you still need easy access to the original data for others to view ... in the future."

I have original hand-written documents going back more than 100 years. Not all have been digitised and transcribed but that is my intention - as long as I am not too discouraged by disinterest. The originals are kept in protective plastic sleeves. I intend to backup the digital files on M-disks for which the makers claim a 1000 year longevity.

Now if I digitise everything and put it on the cloud it would be accessible to even relatives living on the other side of the world. How does your hard-copy stack up against that? I keep the original hand-written documents, like you do, but their value is mainly sentimental and of course an ultimate backup. The original scans are sufficient proof of authenticity to satisfy the most critical sceptic.

But those relatives on the other side of the world would be just as ignorant of my family history files if they found them too technically difficult to access. Craclyn's idea of a website with restricted access, rather than cloud files, is something I have considered. Ray also mentions Rootschatters using a website  - but where are they? It was ideas like that which I had hoped I would find implemented when I started this thread. I was hoping to profit from others' experience.

A publicly accessible website is something the least computer-literate person is familiar with. But if access is restricted - in all probability requiring a link - it adds another level of complexity which could make it just as discouraging to the technology-challenged. I would only change my present approach if I learned of someone who had thoroughly investigated all the options and established the best solution.

I see LizzieW thinks that I am denigrating the technical capabilities of all older people when I am one myself! I'm sorry if that is what you thought. Of course if I don't know individual capabilities I have to assume averages. Surely you would agree that the older a person the less technically-savvy - on average!!! I also first used computers in the 1960s and bought my first micro-computer, an Apple II, in the late 1970s. But we are not typical.

Marmalady thinks I should right the wrong by "publishing on a blog or similar webpage or in print and be done". This advice seems to be based on a particular format which I should follow - "research your family history with full trees for your own knowledge". I accept that this is the way you and probably many others on this website approach family history. That is probably what people are expecting when they hear the term "family history" and probably why I am finding they avoid it like the plague.

In my family tree there are many individuals who lived mundane lives and there are a few who lived remarkable and exciting lives. Your approach seems to weight them equally. My history, like that of the journalist I spoke of, any journalist in fact, is only about the most interesting parts of those interesting lives. I'm sorry if you don't approve but that is the way I am doing it. I provide a minimal family tree just as a reference for names mentioned in the text. I know my approach is more reader friendly but I just don't know how to convince people of that.

From Marmalady again: "... older people with failing eyesight, will relate far more to hard copy." Tut. Tut. You'll have LizzieW scolding you about stereotyping older people as half blind when she can read fine print from twenty feet without glasses.

I have made my point about hard-copy above.





Offline Mike in Cumbria

  • RootsChat Aristocrat
  • ******
  • Posts: 2,996
    • View Profile
Re: Cloud storage of family history, too hard for the target audience?
« Reply #13 on: Sunday 28 April 19 11:27 BST (UK) »
Of course if I don't know individual capabilities I have to assume averages. Surely you would agree that the older a person the less technically-savvy - on average!!!

No.
Como le dijo el mosquito a la rana, "Mas vale morir en el vino que vivir en el agua"

Offline Marmalady

  • RootsChat Aristocrat
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,481
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Cloud storage of family history, too hard for the target audience?
« Reply #14 on: Sunday 28 April 19 12:09 BST (UK) »


From Marmalady again: "... older people with failing eyesight, will relate far more to hard copy." Tut. Tut. You'll have LizzieW scolding you about stereotyping older people as half blind when she can read fine print from twenty feet without glasses.


It all depends where you make the cut-off for "older people"
I am late 60's and tho I don't consider myself as one of the "older generation" many others probably do. And, like LizzieW, my eyesight is still reasonable. So a Cloud or other web-based info file would be fine for me.
But my mother -- at 94 -- is computer savvy (started off with a Spectrum ZX81 in the early 80's) but has poor vision and failing memory. So while she could increase the zoom on a web page to read the info, she would be happier with the info in paper form that she can study at leisure with a magnifying glass. She could also pick it up and put it down as often as required to absorb facts more easily than on a web-page

It is just one reason why some of your family members are not interested in your Cloud-based idea.


As for some ancestors having lead mundane lives -- they are still part of your family history. Of course, it is your choice if you just want to concentrate on the more spectacular ones - but you do still need the basic knowledge of the others to know where they came from.
Wainwright - Yorkshire
Whitney - Herefordshire
Watson -  Northamptonshire
Trant - Yorkshire
Helps - all
Needham - Derbyshire
Waterhouse - Derbyshire
Northing - all

Offline [Ray]

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 5,799
  • UK Census information Crown Copyright
    • View Profile
Re: Cloud storage of family history, too hard for the target audience?
« Reply #15 on: Sunday 28 April 19 16:53 BST (UK) »

 I take Ray's point about WebPages disappearing.             
   
Following comment applies to all electronic versions. . .
Not just pages disappearing/ . . . . .suppliers, business focus of same, general trends, Wiki disappearing ( haven't you had the begging mail? ), your view of same, changes to specs of file formats/types rendering them unusable thru lack of updated/capable software .
eg  .sam.ocx.doc.docx.pdf / jpg.jpeg.tif.gif.pic 
 
Using another example, don't forget that when pdf first appeared the resultant pdf file was unmodifiable, by specification definition. 
 
But not all WebPages are so transient. My mother's father and her grandfather (born 1833) both have WebPages still standing. I believe historic Wikipedia entries, of which I have a number, will last indefinitely.
 
Not if wiki goes broke pluswiki articles are updatable by others. Maybe possibly changing emphasis/detail eliminating your ancient people fromthe article.     

The originals are kept in protective plastic sleeves.     

Sleeves of the correct spec for storing paper, I would hope.     
Not the cheap stuff in the normal shops       

Ray also mentions Rootschatters using a website  - but where are they?     
Rootschatters AND (that type of ) Websites.     
That's the reason I keep mentioning my present fave.     
To get people thinking about it .     

      and established the best solution / hoping to profit from others
 

Your view seems to be the only, and  best, solution?.

You joined here expecting us to have already developed it?
"The wise man knows how little he knows, the foolish man does not". My Grandfather & Father.

"You canít give kindness away.  It keeps coming back". Mark Twain (?).

Offline mike175

  • RootsChat Aristocrat
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,701
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Cloud storage of family history, too hard for the target audience?
« Reply #16 on: Monday 29 April 19 12:41 BST (UK) »
"Cloud" = someone else's computer  ::)

Well, actually it is the currently fashionable term for someone else's bank of web servers. It is just a file storage system. It's usability depends on the way you present the data; a collection of files may or may not be understandable to anyone else. For maximum accessibility you need a good, easy to use, interface that anyone can understand.

If people aren't interested in your research they really won't mind how it is presented  ;)
Baskervill - Devon, Foss - Hants, Gentry - Essex, Metherell - Devon, Partridge - Essex/London, Press - Norfolk/London, Stone - Surrey/Sussex, Stuttle - Essex/London, Wheate - Middlesex/Essex/Coventry/Oxfordshire/Staffs, Gibson - Essex, Wyatt - Essex/Kent

Offline Paul McEvoy

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 6
    • View Profile
Re: Cloud storage of family history, too hard for the target audience?
« Reply #17 on: Monday 29 April 19 17:59 BST (UK) »
Ray asked was I "expecting us to have already developed" a cloud solution?

It is my experience that with the multitude using similar equipment for similar reasons if I have a problem then I am not the only one. I just need to learn from others' experience to find a solution. And yes, I did think that putting family records online made so much sense that there would be many people already doing it. I joined Rootschatters forum because the nearest thing I found on Google for what I was looking for was a post on this site. Aha, I thought, that must be where all the experts are.

I do find it very interesting that I can't find any advice on this. I don't for a moment believe that the hard-copy method of keeping family records is the right model for the future when young people today like everything online. I have listed the advantages of digital records which apply not just to family history. Ray finds technical objections, but I suspect similar resistance was directed at the first motor cars. Of course I can understand people clinging to traditional methods but I suspect that's not the whole reason.

A little philosophising. I'm sure someone will correct me if they think I'm wrong.

The "family history" of sites like this is "family tree history" which I guess must by now be a multi-billion dollar industry. As a hobby it is not unlike in some ways coin and stamp collection. Collectors look at reference books to see what items they don't have, but would like to, and set about acquiring them. You look at all those blanks in your family tree and work to fill in the gaps. It is almost an end in itself. You get satisfaction compiling your family tree and if someone takes an interest that is great, but your hobby doesn't depend on it. What you produce is a reference document full of facts, like a dictionary. No one takes a dictionary to bed to read. But if someone has a query about their ancestors they know that Uncle Bob, with his family tree history, is the one to consult. The subject of the history, the family, is a collective unit but your collection is personal and individual. I suspect that if a cousin asked to photo copy all your hard-copy records you would not be happy. Am I right?

With my records online and my willingness to collaborate with others, I am basically surrendering much of my individual ownership. Others could copy all my records. They become closer to "our records" than "my records" - "our" referring to the family. Isn't that the way it should be? I accept that's easier for me as I'm a Johnny-come-lately who obtained most of my material from my late sister's collection.

So is there unwillingness to surrender ownership and control of personal collections of family records which putting them online would entail?

My version of family history is closer to a story book than a reference. I am not trying to say that my model is better, just that it is different. I believe there is a role for both. Mine is certainly "family history" but not "family tree history". It has been put together to make interesting reading about the lives of interesting members of the family. But it needs readers to realise its goal. One cousin, who does want to read my family history, said he knew my father's life  - from the beginning of last century through Africa, Europe and Australia - was like a boy's own adventure story (do they still have those?).

From Marmalady: ... just one reason why some of your family members are not interested in your Cloud-based idea.

The difficulty I have is that everyone assumes my family history is the same as yours. That I
am expecting them to read a reference document which they have no need of. That is what I have learned from this thread. I have made up my mind to really sell my history, to distinguish it from the family tree version. I have been shy in offering technical support (so as not to offend all the LizzieW's of my family) but now I've decided to provide a help file.